When it comes to IT operations, there’s no question that it is crucial for organizations to increase their efficiency. In fact, with the ever-growing complexity, service levels and performance, greater operational efficiency becomes not just an option, but a competitive necessity. Intelligent automation solutions can help your IT operations become more efficient, thereby improving your organization’s bottom line.
That being said, not every automation tool is the same. And with so many to choose from, the selection process can be confusing and downright overwhelming. Here are seven important questions that should help you make a more informed decision.
1. What are the integration points? Before choosing your intelligent automation solution, you should first verify that it will have touch points and triggers that integrate with your data center systems, including different OS, legacy systems, integration with help desk such as ServiceNow, monitoring and management systems, etc. The more integrated the better.
2. What should be expected in terms of deployment effort? Evaluate how much time and effort will be required for deployment (setup, configuration, implementation, etc.). You want to make sure that the time-frame proposed works with your organizational needs. Also, set expectations so that everyone is on the same page throughout the process and there are no unexpected surprises.
3. What is the required skill set for this particular platform? Part of the implementation process involves training and adapting to the new system. Before moving forward, you should understand what the estimated learning curve will be for generating automated workflows independently. You’ll also want to determine ahead of time if any scripting will be required. (Tip: Look for a solution that does not require coding or programming required. This enables rapid adoption and time-to-value.)
4. Does this product feature out-of-the-box functionality? Some intelligent automation solutions provide ‘pre-canned’ templates for various commonly performed tasks. If the platform you are considering offers this, the next step is to determine whether these generic templates can easily be tailored to fit your unique business environment and processes. Templates are a great place to start, but the more customizable, the better.
5. What level of human intervention is available? Even the simplest automated processes will require some type of human decision at some point during the process. The question to ask is whether you will be able to embed decision-making logic into workflows for remote decisions on process execution. This allows management to maintain control over the process from start to finish.
6. What kind of scheduling functionality does it offer? While some automated processes will be triggered by system events, others, such as repetitive tasks, will need to be scheduled. You’ll want to make sure the automation platform you select provides for full scheduling capability.
7. Does it take into account regulatory compliance? Meeting regulatory compliance requirements is a critical part of every organization’s success. When evaluating an intelligent automation solution, be sure to find out whether it can help you with these initiatives. For instance, does the tool provide tracking of events, reports and knowledge management that will help the organization comply with regulations?
These are the seven most important things to consider when evaluating automation for your organization. By asking these key questions and understanding what to look for, you will have a much better chance of selecting an intelligent automation solution that will be a perfect fit for your business and ensure project success.